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The search schema contains crawled properties, crawled property categories, the crawled to managed property mapping and the managed property settings.

The search schema is a mechanism in SharePoint search that controls:

  • Which aspects (properties) of items are to be indexed
  • How and with what indexing structures particular pieces of data are indexed
  • Which aliases can be used when querying using property restrictions

What does this mean really? It means that the search schema controls what can be searched for, how it can be searched for and how the results can be presented in your search sites.

The search schema contains a lot of system defined crawled and managed properties, as well as mappings in-between that are required for SharePoint Search to work properly. However, as an on-premises customer or SPO customer you also have the option to tweak the search schema to your liking.